ADHD treatment for children. Do they work? Could it be beneficial?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders, with prevalences of 3to 4 percent. It is commonly used to treat signs of impulsivity, inattention and hyperactivity that are typically related to the condition. It’s a disorder of development, which means that the signs are apparent during the first few years of childhood prior to the age of twelve. The signs may affect the way you perform at school and at home, and can hinder the process of making and keeping friendships.

I am a psychologist and I don’t prescribe any medication. However, despite this parents frequently be asked, “Should my child with ADHD be on medication?” And, “What are the downsides of medication?” Then, follow-up by asking “Aren’t too many kids on medication anyway?” A study that was published last year in BMJ could help parents as well as other professionals with answers concerning the methylphenidate drug specifically.

Methylphenidate is among the most prescribed medicines for ADHD all over the world. It’s also marketed under a variety of names, including Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, Daytrana, and Quillivant. Although it’s been utilized for over fifty years to treat ADHD and other disorders -and also studies have proven it to be effective in reducing symptoms of impulsivity, inattention and hyperactivity, there has been no comprehensive, systematic study of the benefits and risks of this medication prior to this study.

What can we learn about the methylphenidate?

In the course of their research, scientists looked through hundreds of papers which examined how methylphenidate affects children in ADHD. It was concluded by the study that methylphenidate may boost children’s performance at school. Teachers had less complaints about ADHD and a better overall attitude for children with ADHD who are taking the medication. Furthermore, parents were also more content with the good quality of life for their children when they were taking medication.

Some evidence suggests that methylphenidate could have adverse consequences, including insomnia and reduced appetite. These are classified in the category of “non-serious adverse effects.” However, these can be serious if you’re the caretaker of a child who’s not eating or sleeping the proper way. It’s important to know that there’s no evidence that suggests methylphenidate can cause serious side effects that could result in life-threatening conditions for instance, things which require hospitalization or cause health problems that last for a long time.

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What advice can parents give their children?

What is this going to mean for parents who are deciding if their child is a good candidate for ADHD medication? In the first place, they don’t need to worry about whether the most frequently prescribed drug methylphenidate can cause serious and long-term problems. Most likely, it won’t. Additionally, the majority of children who are taking the methylphenidate (about 25% as per this study) may experience minor and short-term issues, such as difficulties with sleeping, appetite and sleep problems parents should be ready to recognize these signs among their children. Being aware of the possibility that issues like these may be troublesome and improve as the child becomes accustomed to the drug will help parents in identifying possible solutions. For instance, eating a substantial breakfast prior to taking the medication or reducing dosage when sleeping issues are a concern. These are all concerns that can be discussed with the pediatric physician. There are solutions after they’ve been identified. Parents can be confident that these medications can improve the quality of life for their family and improve the child’s behavior at school, and result in less attention problems due related to hyperactivity, impulsivity and attention.

ADHD treatment The fuller picture

The study can’t provide a definitive answer to the question of how many kids are taking medications. It’s fascinating (and frequently surprising to many) that studies have found that as much as one-third or more than a half of children who have significant developmental and psychological issues are left untreated. There are plenty of children who need help through some form of therapy as well as education or (for the instance of certain) medication. This study is focused on a single drug, when it’s the one most often prescribed.

The choice of which treatment method for determining if your child’s being diagnosed with ADHD isn’t an easy task. The medication option isn’t always the only one. Some studies have shown that certain techniques for coping with behavior that help children suffering from ADHD in learning new abilities can also be effective. Research suggests that a mix strategy could be more efficient. Additionally, medication may assist children to gain better results from non-medicated treatments including school-related help and treatment. When appropriately prescribed by a physician familiar with and who regularly treats these problems, the negatives of methylphenidate-based medications will not generally outweigh the benefits.